Cloonen’s “Fill the Bus” Event Collects Hundreds of Toys to Benefit Area Children
KANKAKEE, Ill. – As a part of her continuing efforts to ensure that area children in need have a present to open this holiday season, state Representative Kate Cloonen teamed up with several area businesses, including the Kankakee County Soldiers basketball team, and River Valley Metro for a successful "Fill the Bus" toy drive event last Saturday. Local families donated over 300 toys to "Fill the Bus" and all the donations from the event will go toward the 24th Annual Toy Drive.
Vermilion County Sheriff's Police report two teenagers were injured (Thurs) when a car and farm equipment collided. It happened near Rossville. One of the teens had to be extricated from the wreckage after the vehicle struck a chisel plow.
Sheriff's Police say the tractor did have the proper safety equipment – including flashing lights that were operating when the crash occurred shortly before 5:30 p.m. The driver of the tractor was uninjured. The accident happened near a bridge west of Rossville at 1300 East Road and 3550 North Road.
The un-identified girl driving the car said she saw the tractor, but did not see the chisel plow it was pulling.
Ford County State's Attorney Matt Fitton has announced he's become a third attorney to announce candidacy for a soon-to-be-vacated circuit judge's post in Ford County.
Fitton will be a Republican candidate, joining already announced-candidates Ellen Lee and Ross Sorensen.
The three will meet in the Republican primary March 18th. They all seek to replace the retiring Judge Stephen Pacey, who plans to step aside December 31st.
The winner of the primary would appear on the November general election ballot. The new judge would take office Dec. 1, 2014, although court officials said the Illinois Supreme Court could appoint the winner of the primary to the vacant seat earlier.
The 52-year-old Fitton, of Paxton, said he believes he is qualified, noting he has experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney in both criminal and civil law.
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(Ellen Lee is the wife of former Ford County State's Attorney Tony Lee. Ross Sorensen is from Loda).
Unemployment Rate Rises in Iroquois, Vermilion, Champaign County
New unemployment figures released Thursday show the jobless rate in Iroquois County was up slightly from a month ago.
Vermilion County rose slightly during October. Champaign County's unemployment rate was also a bit higher.
Kankakee County unemployment was listed at 10.1 in October, the same as September and down from the 10.2 in October of 2012.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports Vermilion County's unemployment rate climbed from 11.0 percent in September to 11.3 percent in October. In Champaign County, the October jobless rate was 7.8 percent – up from 7.5 percent in September.
In Iroquois County the jobless rate also rose slightly, from 7.1 to 7.3 percent.
Danville's unemployment rate of 13.9 percent during October was up nearly four-percent from a year ago. In October of 2012 the jobless rate in Danville was 10.0 percent.
Two attorneys will face off for a judicial bench seat in Ford County in the march 18th primary election. A vacancy was created with the announced resignation of Circuit Judge Stephen Pacey.
Attorney Ellen Lee of Paxton and Ross Sorensen of Loda are announced candidates in the March 18 election.
The 58-year-old Ellen Lee is the husband of former Ford County State's Attorney Tony Lee. She has practiced law for more than 30 years, including the last 19 years in Gibson City. She has also served as legal counsel for Gibson City and Gifford. Currently, Lee is the attorney for Elliott, Roberts and Sibley.
Sorensen is 30-years-old, a practicing-associate with the Martensen and Niemann law firm in Paxton. He's also the attorney for both the city of Paxton and the Paxton Park District.
He is a member of the Ford County Drug Court Team and a founding member off the Iroquois Foundation for Behavioral Health in support of the Iroquois Mental Health Center.
The Illinois Supreme Court has the option of appointing an interim judge or leave the seat vacant until after the election.